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2020 summary and company climate footprint

2020 was a year of climate crises, injustices and a pandemic. But it was also a year of progress. Global challenges are drivers for change, like a force of nature pushing us forward. For us at Oatly, 2020 will go down in the history books as a year when our top priority was to keep our employees safe while continuing our fast growth.

Numbers indicate change from 2019 per produced liter product.

Produced liters: 299 million liters
Climate impact 167.000 metric tons
Climate impact per produced liter 0.558 kg2e
Renewable energy: 49%
Share of renewable packaging material: 87 percent
Water usage: 13-69%
Employees: 792
Overall company gender diversity: 48-51%
Gender diversity in leadership: 67-33%
Sustainability commitment index: 86%

Hyper growth journey

In 2020, we doubled our revenue and increased our produced liters by 81%, bringing plant-based options to millions of more people around the world. (Yeah, that’s what you might call a success, but let’s keep it in parentheses since we need our feet to stay on the ground.) To scale our production capacity, we opened our second U.S. production site in the first half of 2021, and three additional sites in Singapore, China and the UK were under construction or in the planning stages, while we also continue to expand capacity of our existing sites (see, feet on the ground definitely needed). Our long-term strategy is to own self-sufficient global operations, but meanwhile, we must find flexible solutions that meet our growing demand here and now. In 2020, 52% of our production was made by outsourcing through different production partners and 24% was made through a hybrid model where we worked together with production partners on the product.

Overall company climate footprint

At the same time, this rapid growth and expansion in new markets, especially in Asia, brought with it challenges for our sustainability performance – our climate impact went up overall, and our share of renewable energy went down as we expanded in markets with fewer readily available renewable energy solutions. We also saw some successful sustainability performance - we decreased our factory water usage per liter of output, increased the proportion of renewable materials in our packaging, and decreased the carbon footprint of some categories, including cultivation of ingredients and packaging. The two main drivers for our overall climate footprint are:

1. Transportation

2. Cultivation of ingredients 

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Share of total tonnes Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Category 2020
Important Side Note

In 2020, we measured more categories of emissions than previous years, such as waste generated in production, refrigerants and additional transportation. We also updated the greenhouse gas-emission factors for all ingredients (according to data supplied by our external partner on carbon calculations) and applied a more standard set of GHG emission factors (provided by DEFRA) for other categories, such as transportation and energy. These updates added to our total climate impact.

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“This past year showed the world that a seismic shift in behaviour is possible if we have a strong vision of a better future and the will to try, fail, and try again. At Oatly, our vision is to meet the climate emergency head on by driving a plant-based revolution and shifting toward a sustainable food system. That means delivering Oatly products to millions more people around the world, while making long-term improvements that reduce our reliance on the planet’s resources. Our vision is not an easy one and cannot be achieved in one quarter or one year. But we will continue to drive forward because we know what is possible for the planet if we succeed” 


Ashley Allen, Chief Sustainability Officer 


Drive a food system shift


A Note regarding forward-looking statements

This site (the “2020 Sustainability Summary”) contains forward-looking statements regarding our future business expectations and objectives and our environmental, social and governance goals, which involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated depending on a variety of important factors, including without limitation the risks detailed in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In relation to the 2020 Sustainability Summary, we are (wholly or in part) reliant on public sources of information and information provided by our own suppliers and business partners. Further, our ability to verify such information (whether now, in the past, or in the future) may be limited by the integrity of the underlying data available at the relevant point in time and the status and evolution of global, supranational and national laws, guidelines and regulations in relation to the tracking and provision of such data. Therefore, such information is provided on a reasonable efforts basis and is subject to change.